Opinion » Bill Cope

The Flutter: Issue Six

Yet another SFMPB newsletter


Sometimes, it must seem to outsiders that the only function the Society For Making People Better serves is to make up new rules for its members to follow.

No, no, no! That is just simply not true. In terms of both a spiritual and a social nature, our members have a rich and rewarding experience in the society. Spiritually, we are content within our own skins--(and if you, too, were content within your own skin, you would know what that means)--and socially, we have our Grand Potlucks.

Admittedly, attendance at our last few potlucks has been thin, possibly because Yours Truly keeps forgetting to announce when and where the next one will be held. But we assure you that once a reliable schedule has been drawn up, it will be "Let the baked beans roll!"--which, as anyone who has ever attended one of our Grand Potlucks can testify, is how we call our Grand Potlucks to order.

However, rules are very important to us. No one within the society can imagine how we could dare call ourselves a society without observing common standards of behavior. Yet it is equally important to understand that the rules, in and of themselves, are not what makes our SFMPB so dear to us. The rules are merely reflections--lingering echoes, if you will--of the mental, moral and aesthetic processes that lead to the manifestation of the rules. Savvy?

Allow me to put it another way. Those of you who ever hunched over the scattered fragments of a plastic P51 Mustang or a B17 Flying Fortress will empathize when I say it was not the finished result, hanging inertly by a fishline from your bedroom ceiling, that made the experience memorable. It was the hunching, the eye-strain, the glue boogers building up on your fingers, the desperate search for that lost landing strut, the struggle to keeping your little brother's grubby paws off the decals ... all those many trials and tribulations that went into the assembly of a toy you couldn't even play with once the task was complete! This is what sticks in the memory. Right? Not that dumb little chintzy model your mom tossed the very day you left for college.

Same with our rules. The rules are nothing beyond the journey that brings us to them. Or brings them to us. Whatever.

With that said, allow me to present you with our newest rule: If you have objections to being called stupid, quit being stupid. (Include this as No. 12 in your Revised SFMPB Rulebook.)

And now, since there are no pressing SFMPB business matters to report, let us explore the process that brought our new rule to life: Recently, a letter was published in BW complaining the paper does not show proper respect to those readers who may not be as liberal as ourselves. For evidence, he offered two instances of writing which in his estimation were dismissive of people who don't share our views.

I can not address the first complaint. It was not written by moi, and moi has no interest in trying to figure out if the other writer was trying to make a liberal point. I will say that a reckless leap to the conclusion that all the writers for BW are liberal is not one that I would personally make. Frankly, I don't know who's liberal and who's not. We don't discuss it. As far as I know, the entire editorial staff may be secret fascists, masking their vile political proclivities behind restaurant reviews and reports on local dog poop parks.

The second complaint was over a line I take full credit for writing: "There it is, explained so (simply) that even a tea bagger can understand it." The complainer shows his indignation with my attitude by adding, "So now people concerned with an ever-expanding government and taxes are stupid?"

No, I am not calling "people concerned with an ever-expanding government and taxes" stupid. If you read the line I wrote closely, you can see I specifically mentioned tea baggers when I implied someone was stupid. And to clear up any confusion, yes, I believe tea baggers are stupid.

Death threats and spitting on Congressmen and hooting like baboons and following Sarah Palin's lead anywhere and calling black Congressmen "niggers" and painting President Barack Obama up as Hitler and listening to anything Glenn Beck says and demanding the country do things their way, even though they lost and not ever knowing what they're talking about and treating disabled people like hobos and acting like they own this country ... I believe all those things (and more) make them stupid. And I don't for a minute swallow the defense that the tea bagging mob is not all like that. They wouldn't be in the crowd if they weren't like that. Would you stay in a crowd like that if you weren't like that?

So my advice ... if they object to being called stupid, all they have to do is quit being stupid. (Recognize it? It's Rule No. 12 in the Revised SFMPB Rule Book.)

The letter ends with, "If you want independents and libertarians such as myself to read (your publication), perhaps you shouldn't have such a condescending attitude for people that aren't as liberal as yourself."

Sorry, but speaking strictly for myself, I ask no one to be stupid just so I can call them stupid. My response to stupidity is a natural and organic unfolding--a journey rather than a destination--and I am perfectly content within my own skin with it.

Now, 'til the next Flutter, adieu, mon amigos, and laissez les haricots a la Boston rouler!